Congressman Connolly Blasts Trump Refusal to Divest from Businesses

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Washington, January 11, 2017 | comments
"His attempt to tap dance around the Emoluments Clause is an affront to the American public," Connolly said.
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U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-11th) says Trump refusal to divest from businesses "falls far short of what American public demands."

By Mary Ann Barton

Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-11th) blasted President-elect Trump’s plan not to divest himself from his sprawling business interests saying it "falls far short of what the American public demands."

At the Wednesday morning press conference, Trump and one of his attorneys, Sheri Dillon, said that the president-elect will not divest from his sprawling business interests, instead handing over control of his company to his two adult sons. Dillon added that all of the company's profits from foreign transactions will be donated to the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

Trump reiterated that being president exempts him from all conflicts-of-interest law, saying, "I have have no conflict situation because I'm president." He bragged about being offered a $2 billion deal in Dubai that he turned down. He said he will not be releasing his tax returns.

Connolly said the plan falls short. “President-elect Trump’s announced plan to avoid any potential conflicts of interests falls far short of what the American public demands," Connolly said in a statement. "The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee heard expert testimony that made clear the only way to adequately and appropriately protect the integrity of the Office of the President is to immediately divest all interests in the Trump Organization and put those holdings into a blind trust. This plan, devised by Trump’s advisors and not independent groups, doesn’t meet that basic standard, tainting virtually every decision he makes as conflicted.

“Even more troublesome, his attempt to tap dance around the Emoluments Clause is an affront to the American public," Connolly said. "Given his proven failed record of past promises to many charitable organizations, and his refusal to release his tax filings to back up those claims, there is little confidence he would live up to this promise.”
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